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The best B2B content is pizza

When the Umault team is preparing to pitch creative to a client, one of the questions we have to answer is “What’s pizza about this?” Answering this question will help you create better and more effective B2B content. 

The pizza question was inspired by a revelation years ago about what content most resonated with readers of a company intranet. The answer, unsurprisingly, was pizza. Turns out everyone loves pizza. 

In this episode, Guy and Hope break down why your B2B content needs to be more like pizza, and how you can get there.


Guy Bauer: And that's not what we say on LinkedIn. It's not what we say on Twitter where we're all virtue signaling, but that's the truth. The truth is that's what's really important to people. 

Answering a question about pizza will make your B2B content better and more effective.Hope Morley: Hello, and welcome to Death to the Corporate Video, a podcast with tools and advice for how to make video ads your prospects actually want to watch. I'm Hope Morley. 

Guy Bauer: I'm Guy Bauer. 

Hope Morley: And I'm getting over a cold. So please excuse my voice. 

Guy Bauer: You're excused. 

Hope Morley: Thank you.

Guy Bauer: You've been sick for, uh, months now?

Hope Morley: Pretty much. 

Guy Bauer: Hope's family is on the virtual Oregon trail right now. They've been sick— 

Hope Morley: For a while.

Guy Bauer: You had COVID. 

Hope Morley: Yeah, we are recording this on June 23rd. The last time that we had kids go to a full week of daycare, both of them, was the week of May 9th. So we are going on six weeks that I am like paying for daycare and have not gotten five days of care for both children. 

Guy Bauer: It's the worst. 

Hope Morley: Yeah. 

Guy Bauer: Well, it's good you're getting better. Hope said this is more of a Guy show, today, as a change of pace, Hope, I will be very long winded today and kind of repeat myself a lot. 

Hope Morley: Thank you. I appreciate it. 

Guy Bauer: I’m never like that. 

Hope Morley: No, never. 

Guy Bauer: Yes. 

Hope Morley: Today on the show we are talking about pizza. And it was a really good idea for us to record this right before lunch. So I can get really hungry as we talk about pizza, but Guy, tell us why we're talking about pizza.

Guy Bauer: We're talking about pizza because the number one question you should be asking yourself before you release a B2B video or really B2B creative, or even if you're not in B2B, creative of any kind. What I want you to do is ask yourself, is it pizza? And I'll explain. 

Hope Morley: Yeah. Define pizza.

Guy Bauer: Okay. Pizza, all right. So 

Hope Morley: Crust, sauce, cheese.

Guy Bauer: mm-hmm or in Chicago, they do cheese mattress then sauce. 

Yeah. Alright, so to explain pizza, I have to take you back in time to the year 2010. And I was teaching a course on video communications for internal comms departments. Which in 2010, I had no business doing this. Hopefully no one followed any of my advice.

Let me know if you did. And, you know, if I can help in any way. Anyway, we're having lunch and these guys from Blue Cross Blue Shield who manage their like intranet, you know, like when you sign into your web browser, the company's kind of like newspaper opens up. So they manage the intranet and, they, they ask me, Hey Guy, guess what our number one piece of content of all time is? And this is insurance, health insurance. And so, you know, they do stuff like interviewing survivors, doing stories about how the insurance company gave money or sponsored stuff to help cure diseases. So you'd figure it would be one of those things, maybe a very emotional story of someone who had a positive outcome when things weren't looking good.

So that's what I guessed. And they're like, no, no. They're like out of all the things we've ever done that, like we, we all have J school degrees. Like they all, like, we, we all like try hard and like really, you know, like pour our heart and soul into this job out of all of that stuff. Out of years of great heartwarming stories and heart hitting stories, the number one story, by many factors, was a little blurb that pizza would now be available five days a week systemwide in all the cafeterias. And that article went viral. It blew up. It was their hottest article of all time. And like, of course it is, you know why? Cuz it's useful. 

Hope Morley: And everyone loves pizza!

Guy Bauer: It's like what people actually want to read. So like, if you gave people an option between reading a 2000 word story about some family that got cured of some disease, or like a little, 100 word blurb that there's pizza now available?

Most people pick the pizza. And that's not what we say on LinkedIn. It's not what we say on Twitter and where we're all virtue signaling, but that's the truth. The truth is that's what's really important to people. 

Hope Morley: mm-hmm

Guy Bauer: So ever since that day, I've just carried this thought that most things people don't care about. We care about them as the people who make them, but most people could care less. Even if it's something they should care about. They just don't, it's like, you know, it's like what people say and what they do are two way different things. 

Hope Morley: Yep.

Guy Bauer: And so this philosophy, literally in all of our creative decks, there's a field where we have to fill in and present to the client where we have to answer the question, what is pizza about this?

And I'm telling you, there's so many concepts that get cut that we generate that get cut because they fail the pizza test. So here's how I define pizza. Pizza is something that you would want to watch or consume, regardless of like, if you're being asked to, or if there's an offer tied to it, or if like, would you actually on your own time, watch this. and most things that people make fail that test. They're like, no, I wouldn't actually watch this if I wasn't in like the marketing field. Or, you know, if like, if I wasn't personally tied to this because I made this, no, I would not watch this. So that's pizza. 

Hope Morley: And it's, it's not just that someone be interested in watching it, but it actually speaks to something that they care about. So it's beyond just what you care about or what you think they should care about. It's like, does this affect, like how does this help me live my daily life better? And my daily life is better knowing I have pizza available to me.

Guy Bauer: And you're exactly right. It's so stupid. But most things that work are very dumb. because we are very dumb as creatures. Like the people that, we are in the shower, that's how you have to assume people are like in the shower, we're all just standing there. 

Hope Morley: Where is this going? 

Guy Bauer: Where I'm going is that, like, you have to imagine. People try to build others up in their brain as these smart, rational, just like really smart and savvy people. But you have to imagine just like in public speaking, they say, imagine the audiences in their underwear. I try to imagine people are just in their showers, and like, very, just like basic. 

Hope Morley: Like we all just wash our hair.

Guy Bauer: Just look, and then they're like pizza. It's like very simple. It's extremely simple. You had a good thought a thread that I was gonna, I was gonna unpack your thread, but now I lost it. 

Hope Morley: That you're speaking to what people actually care about.

Guy Bauer: Yes, exactly. It's like, that article, that there's pizza now available is valuable in itself. I don't have to think that hard about it. It's actually of value like in the moment. And what's funny is what's funny is I'm gonna pay for that pizza. 

Hope Morley: That's true. Yeah. It's not free pizza. It's not free pizza in the break room. It's not like it's Joe's birthday. Come get pizza. It's like, do you want to give the corporate cafeteria money for pizza every single day? Now you can. 

Guy Bauer: I actually care. I will respond to this. It is delivering me value. That's no BS, no kind of like thing that I should care about. I actually do care about this and that's the pizza test. And here's the thing, I don't know if you remember this from calculus or whatever, you know how there's like limit functions where like, you know how, like, if there's like a line.

And there's a function like you can never actually touch the line. Like it, it just rubs it infinitely close, but it never act, I forget what that's called, but you can never equal pizza. Just understand that pizza is like in physics as a frictionless environment, you know, like it's theoretically impossible to ever produce something as interesting.

Would you like a slice of pizza, honestly, because you, you just can't because pizza's delicious, that's on a way different level of sensory and everything. So understand, you will never get as interesting in all of your research, in all of the scripting and storyboarding in all of the analysis, you will never be as interesting as there's pizza available five days a week.

Understand that. But you know, it's like, they always say like, Aim for excellence, settle for greatness. 

Hope Morley: Yeah. It's like a stretch goal.

Guy Bauer: Right. You'll never get there. You'll never get there. It's impossible. Like if you were to ask anyone, like, would you rather go see. Citizen Kane or have a slice of pizza?

Hope Morley: Well depends how hungry I am, but so Like I'm door dashing, some pizza right now.

Guy Bauer: That's it. It's you gotta ask yourself. And like, you know, I'm being silly about the shower thing, but it's true. It's like stop imagining people with, and I think I wrote this in my hit book, my best selling book, Death to the corporate video 

Hope Morley: with the mothers of Guy Bauer.

Guy Bauer: Yeah. She didn't even buy it. She doesn't know how to work Amazon. But in my best selling book amongst my wife, Death to the Corporate Video, I write that you gotta stop thinking your audience wears their suit to bed at night. They don't. What's crazy is so I know I'm old enough now to know, you know, like one of my best friends growing up best, best friends, which we have done all the dude things you could ever do. He's like a VP co-founder of like a serious B2B company. That's actually real. And like, you know, he walks around wearing, you know, like real clothes.

He looks. Like, if you were to see him, it's hilarious. We start laughing at each other. when we interact with each other professionally, because we know we're just like, you know, teenagers faking, but that's everybody that is everybody. That's everybody! 

 So that's the thing it's like, we are all basic people that just want pizza that just wanna watch Netflix that wanna go to Disney.

You know, we talked about the Disney thing too, you know what I mean? Like. Disney is $20 pretzel. That's a good deal. I'm hungry. Like we are completely not, these smart people that post single sentences on LinkedIn, know, with spaces in between them. that's not us. And I bet you all their friends that see those things are like, 

Hope Morley: Yeah. It's like, remember when we used to like light leaves on fire in the gutter behind the house.

Guy Bauer: Alright, going back to pizza is that I promise you most of the things you're making are failing the, is it pizza test, but let's say you have something that you think you're trying to do the test. So the test is what is pizza about this? And pizza? The idea is why would someone actually want to watch this or consume it if you weren't like, just like, if you weren't involved right. Why would they actually want to do that? And you and you have to be completely truthful yourself. And like I said, 80% of the ideas we come up with fail the test and they just get cut.

Hope Morley: And the important thing about the pizza test is that I think this is a mistake that I see a lot of people making is that they think that people have an innate interest in their product or their content, because they're like, well, they have a pain point. You know, they're, they're looking for a new CRM.

So obviously they want to watch this. And that is not the answer to the pizza question. You cannot assume innate interest in your product when you're answering. 

Guy Bauer: Yeah, exactly. Now, you know, if I'm further, maybe if I'm really down in the funnel and I'm on your website, you know? Yeah, then you're interested in whatever, a reassuring piece of content, but I promise you running any piece of content through the pizza test will force you to make higher value stuff because the pizza test forces you to deliver value in the moment at the actual point of media consumption, the pizza test forces you to actually entertain someone.

That's what it does because who, why would anyone want to watch something? Didn't pass the pizza test. I would never want to watch that. And I mean, even if you're paying to get ads in front of people, if, if, even if it's on connected TV, that's the point where everyone, you know, goes to the bathroom or refills their snack, or just goes to their phone if you know, on social, I just scroll past your thing.

Like even in today's era of forced pre-roll on YouTube and all that stuff. if I don't want to watch it, I won't, there's many ways that I can avoid your thing. 

Hope Morley: Yep.

You gotta catch people right away. So you're not just waiting for that little skip add button to pop up on YouTube.

Guy Bauer: Yeah. Ask yourself, how would this do against an article next to your ad, honestly, that's another way to think about it, right? Like how would your piece of content fare against if there was an article right next to it saying there's pizza available? Like how would it do?

And I, I find the other thing. I feel like many people in advertising, they judge the ads, creative against ads instead of against entertainment. And that's why most ads just look like ads, even if they're beautiful, like many ads are gorgeous.

Most of them are like, you're hiring the top people who are, you know, in Hollywood and stuff. But your litmus test for successful ads, shouldn't be, this looks like other ads. It should be like, when I show this to people, they laugh or like they, you know. Because then that person who sees that ad will remember it. And later on a year from now, watch the ad. It's kind of like, we all love the Dollar Shave Club. I don't know. Did I ever show you the Walmart clown spot? 

Oh, I love it, oh, you gotta, we'll put this in the show notes. Just type in like Walmart clown. It is hilarious. Like, and I, it, it, it stands on itself as a, just a piece of content I would actually want to watch.

It's awesome. It's amazing. You know, and how many impressions Walmart's not paying for those impressions now? Because that spot was made as pizza, like I want to go watch the Walmart spot and I not only wanna watch, I wanna share it with you because you're gonna 

enjoy it. That's pizza.That's the power of pizza. 

Hope Morley: Pizza's made for sharing. So pizza content made for sharing. 

Guy Bauer: That's exactly right. That's exactly right. So is your, is this pizza? What is pizza about this? Ask yourself about every piece of content, media, whatever you're making, and if it fails it, just delete it and start over and do another one. Cuz the brands that win, deliver the higher, the highest percentage of pizza. Again, you'll never approach pizza. You'll never get as interesting as it, but you can get darn close. Like the Walmart clown spot. 

Hope Morley: Thanks for listening to today's episode of Death to the Corporate Video. If you wanna talk more about pizza, if you have thoughts on Chicago style versus New York, we can have a little fight. We're not gonna get into it, cuz Guy's wrong. 

Guy Bauer: I'll just say 

Hope Morley: but you can find us —

Guy Bauer: Can't first. There's no… Hope's wrong. 

Hope Morley: You can find us across all the social media channels at Umault. It's U M A U L T. We're most active on LinkedIn. You can also visit us on our website at umault.com. Thanks for listening today. 

Guy Bauer: You’re welcome. 

Hope Morley: I am really hungry now.





Picture of Guy bauer, founder of umault

Guy has been making commercial videos for over 20 years and is the author of “Death to the Corporate Video: A Modern Approach that Works.” He started the agency in 2010 after a decade of working in TV, film and radio. He’s been losing hair and gaining weight ever since.

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